Introduction to Computers

Computer Laboratory

Objectives By the end of this lesson, you should be able to: Define computer laboratory State the factors that should be considered when setting up a computer lab State and explain measures to protect the computers and computer users

Definition of a computer laboratory

A computer laboratory is a special room set aside for the safe installation and use of computers

Factors to consider when setting up a computer laboratory:

  1. Security of the computer software and hardware
  2. The reliability of the power source
  3. The floor, space and number of computers to be set up
  4. The maximum number of users

Safety precautions and practices

Measures that protect the computer user

  1. The power cables should be well insulated to protect the user from the dangers of  electric shock
  2. users should be provided with standard ergonomic furniture to avoid health risks like back strain and fatigue which may result due to poor sitting positions. The furniture must have an upright backrest and should be high enough to position the eye at the same level as the computer screen.
  3. The room should be properly ventilated to avoid dizziness caused by a lack of enough oxygen
  4. The walls of the computer should not be painted with overbright paints
  5. The computer screens should face away from windows to avoid glare caused by bright backgrounds
  6. Overcrowding should be avoided since it may lead to suffocation

Measures that protect the computer

  1. The computer room should be burglar proofed by reinforcing windows, roofing and doors with steel, employing security personnel, installing intrusion detection systems
  2. The room should be installed with a gaseous fire extinguisher, smoke detectors
  3. power surges and brownouts should be avoided by maintaining a stable power supply by use of an Uninterruptible Power Supply(UPS).
  4. The room should be well laid out. Power and data cables should be kept off the user paths to avoid stumbling on them.
  5. Computers should be protected from dust by covering them while not in use and fitting the windows with curtains.
  6. Drinks and solid food should be avoided in the computer laboratory. Drinks with water content may cause corrosion of metallic parts of a computer. Food particles may clog the movable computer parts causing malfunctioning.
  7. Dehumidifiers should be used to control dampness